Edited by doorie - 10/21/13 at 6:42am
Will I ever genuinely accept he has had a baby already?
I think you're wrong. Each baby is a new experience. He had a previous birth experience with his previous child, but if you have a child with him, he will have THAT birth experience with YOU and YOUR child, know what I mean?
I know how you feel, though. I have two sons, from two jerks- basically, I did it all myself both times. My fiance has three children from his late Wife. I will never be able to give him his FIRST child (nor, he mine), and that does bother me some, but I will be able to give him his NEXT child, who will be just a precious and just as amazing as the previous children from our previous relationships. It doesn't matter if it's your first or your 10th, it will be amazing, the baby and the person you're sharing it with. Know what I mean?
First, I think that these are normal feelings. I know I was very sad at the time that our kids together were not my ex's first as well, and that if we ever got married (we didn't) it wouldn't be his first wedding, etc. It can be tough to let go of the "fairy tale" where you both meet, fall in love, get married and have babies without the baggage (not that kids are baggage, but you know what I mean) that most normal people have. It is good that you are acknowledging it now, because I would strongly recommend working through it *before* you get pregnant-I know for me, these feelings peaked during my first pregnancy when I wanted everything to be special and ex was kind of BTDT about it (which, of course, is not going to be true for all men, thank goodness!)
Second, huge red flag that he doesn't want to tell his ex about you. I understand he doesn't want to piss her off, but if it is that soon, then there is a reason she will be pissed off. She will only be more angry later if she finds out. She shouldn't be able to restrict access to the child because he should be getting something legal in place outlining the custody schedule, for everybody's sake. He needs to come clean, especially if you are spending time with the child behind the mom's back now! Sooner or later the 2-year-old is going to start telling his mom about daddy's "friend" and it's not going to go well. Maybe he truly is just scared that the mom will keep his kid away, but I would be worried that he has more to hide.
In regards to your BF not telling his ex about you, but having you meet the child - that is a seriously dumb move. This "secret" now depends on the discretion of a two year-old, and if there is even remotely reasonable parenting here, that kid should be gabbing to both parents about everything. The arguments that your BF is making about letting his ex know about you are the arguments that should have held up for not introducing you to his son yet. Is he hoping for big drama?
I think that not getting to be the person your BF experiences parenthood with for the first time is not actually the key issue. First, he split up with the woman he had that experience with, so maybe it's not everything you think it is - at least for him. Second, I think your issue is actually that you aren't as central to his life as you would like to be. It's not that things won't be new, it's that you won't be the most important. He has this other family. He has to consider a lot of people's needs, and you aren't the first priority. As long as that kid exists, that will be true. That's actually not a horrible thing to live with. That said - if you don't want to live with it, you should move on, because it wouldn't be a good thing for him to change, or you to push for changing.
Edited by doorie - 10/21/13 at 6:43am
For his age, the little one doesn't speak very well at the moment, it would probably be impossible for him to go back and mention anything whatsoever to his mom that she would be able to understand. I think that is the only reason I have been able to meet him already (without her knowing of course) because he can't exactly go back and say anything! YET!!!
He's started to try and say my name when he asks where i have gone, i.e. when i go to the loo or something... hes like "gone...gone...." So it won't be long before he can say my name properly im sure. He'll have to tell her soon. I know nothing dodgy is going on, i trust him 100 percent... i actually think he is scared of her!! She was very controlling and 'the boss' in their relationship.
Doorie, I think what you're missing is that there is definitely something dodgy going on - your BF introduced you to his son without telling his ex! That's really dodgy!
You see a great guy who is scared of his hypothetically overbearing ex. I see someone who has, possibly thoughtlessly, put a toddler in a position to blindside the toddler's mom with relationship information, and possibly arranged for the toddler to be present for emotional fallout that the child can't possibly understand.
I don't know if my husband ever felt like that, but once she was born, he expressed several times how glad he was that I'd had the older two already... someone who's had experience dealing with a fever or even just giving a bath to a newborn is a lot calmer about those things. There have been a few times that he was near a state of panic over her that I just automatically knew how to handle it because I'd BTDT. Anyway, maybe there are other perks you can try to focus on, when you start to feel like that.
I agree with the others, the secret-keeping is a cause for concern. At the very least, its an example of how he deals with a problem when he anticipates there's going to be some conflict.
I know it doesn't work the same for everybody, but it worked for me. I guess it was so important to me bc my father had a second life and none of us (my mom and my sister and me) had any part in it. Transparency and honesty was a deal breaker for me, especially when it came to choosing a life partner and a father for my future children.
Like I said, I got what I wanted. My husband is absolutely the partner I wanted for myself.
I know you are in love... But you also need to think if this is smthng you want for yourself. I would not tolerate for a minute the situation you are in, keeping you a secret?? That has red flags all over it. I'm sorry but it is my opinion. The fact that you met the son means nothing, bc the baby cannot speak and blow his secret.
And even if he is telling the truth, and he is scared of his ex, do you really want someone on your side who doesn't have the courage to be honest and claim his rights as a parent?
I would also be concerned about sthng another poster addressed: why did he have a failed relationship with such a small child?
I am a blunt and honest person (like I said, I hate lies and ambiguous situations) and IME nothing good ever comes out of a secret. You deserve to have an honest relationship and you do not deserve to be kept hidden, especially if your relationship is as serious and commited as you say it is.
Only you can evaluate your situation and make the decision that is best for you. Just don't dissmiss this, you don't have to put up with this.
No child is the same, so having a child with you would be a different experience.
However, this situation is messed up. Your boyfriends should not be putting his child in the middle of a dispute with his ex like this! If they haven't worked out any kind of custody agreement, the he is likely worried that she will restrict access when she learns of you. That is very possible, even likely. This needs to be dealt with.
I feel I am so gullible. I bet if I was more his age than mine, I'd have so much more life experience and would not tolerate this. How dare he keep me hidden like a secret after six months now? Ill be talking to him about it again any day now. Getting really wound up lol.
Hmm...I say this gently, since it's so hard to read situations online, but I would be very, very, very careful with this man if this isn't the only red flag in your relationship.
This isn't silly at all. I am engaged to a man with 2 children, and coming to grips with the fact that he has "been there done that" is something I have had to put a lot of hard work into. The place I finally came to is this - he is a wonderful man, and as sad as it makes me that he has done so much living and had so many firsts that I haven't yet, it is those experiences that made him the man I love. We have a large age gap - if he were still the person he was before he had his girls, and if he were closer in age to me, I wouldn't even like him (from all I have heard about the person he used to be).
So. It's ok to be sad sometimes about the sacrifice of shared firsts you have to make to be with this man. But then remember that you are a whole new experience to him, and he honestly cannot compare your child birth experience to the one he had with his ex because it is the people involved that make the experience.
On a side note - ya... he really needs to bring you into the open. I have yet to properly meet the ex but she does know about me. I am not allowed to be with the girls without their dad or grandparents around until she has met me, which makes logistics a pain sometimes. But being a secret and going behind her back would be much worse. I understand fear over custody battles, but the patterns you set now will hold fast for the rest of the relationship, and for everyone's sake you must try to have as much honesty and communication with his ex as possible. She will be in your life for the foreseeable future, and she can make both your lives miserable, so playing nice and being above board is in everyone's best interest - including the boy's!